Andrew Malkinson was wrongfully convicted of rape in 2003 and spent nearly two decades in prison. His conviction was recently overturned by the Court of Appeal, but he now faces the possibility of having to pay for his own accommodation from any compensation he might receive. This shocking revelation has sparked a heated debate about the fairness of the justice system.

Malkinson, a 57-year-old man living on benefits, was sentenced to life in prison despite his consistent claims of innocence. He spent 17 years behind bars, during which time he was subjected to physical and psychological abuse. His conviction was overturned in 2023 after new evidence emerged, pointing to a different suspect.

The controversy arises from the fact that Malkinson may be required to offset some of his compensation against the costs he would have incurred living outside prison. This notion has left Malkinson, and many others, in a state of disbelief and anger. He expressed his outrage to the Telegraph, stating that the idea of paying for his “torture” was beyond comprehension.

Sir Bob Neill, the chairman of the justice committee, has voiced his concerns about the current rules governing deductions from compensation. He has urged the Government to reconsider these regulations, questioning the fairness of penalizing someone for the state’s mistake.

Malkinson’s case was reopened after new evidence emerged, pointing to a different suspect. The Greater Manchester Police have since arrested and released this individual pending further investigation. The court is yet to decide whether Malkinson’s convictions were unsafe due to what his lawyer, Edward Henry KC, termed as “deplorable disclosure failures” primarily by the Greater Manchester Police.

These failures included withholding crucial evidence such as photographs of the victim’s left hand, which supported her claim of scratching her attacker’s face, and the criminal records of the two witnesses who identified Malkinson, one of whom was a heroin addict. This evidence was not made available to Malkinson’s defence team during his trial, depriving him of a strong defence point – his lack of any facial injury.

This case serves as a stark reminder of the flaws within our justice system and the urgent need for reform. It raises questions about the fairness of compensation deductions and the handling of evidence, issues that need to be addressed to prevent such miscarriages of justice in the future.